Supporting Whole Communities Through a Redesign and Reimagining Process

December 19, 2019

By Rebecca Holmes, CEI President and CEO

Happy Holidays!  This has been a big year for us here at the Colorado Education Initiative with many projects, partners, and possibilities.  From launching our transformative school redesign accelerator this past summer, to kicking off several social emotional learning projects across the state, and convening hundreds of partners to rethink accountability, CEI has been working with many of you to reimagine what is possible in education in Colorado. I’m excited to share a project with you all that I’m tremendously excited about.

This project came about when we sat down with a partner and really thought about how we could bring our shared perspective and work to address one of the biggest challenges in Colorado: rural education and economic development. Solving this problem would require moving beyond a scarcity mindset and into abundance with many partners, and this project has asked everyone to step into that frame – an important reminder this holiday season.

This past spring, CEI began to work with Colorado Succeeds to imagine what it would be like to support whole communities through a redesign and reimagining process. We thought about moving beyond the typical silos of K-12 public education, higher ed, and business, and creating real shared power between all of these entities. This would mean envisioning and imagining an “educonomy” where education and economic development professionals work together to revitalize communities. For us, it means building on our high school redesign approach by broadening who is at the table.  We asked communities all over the state to apply to our newly minted Homegrown Talent Initiative (HTI), and we selected eight communities whose applications presented compelling ideas and real community voice. Now, having convened these groups twice to support their work, we are happy to announce this project broadly to the Colorado education community. Participating community members are eager and excited to bring ambitious plans to fruition and I look forward to sharing more with you all over the coming months. Enjoy the stories in our December newsletter that include some powerful narratives from the participants, and explore the HTI website to learn more about the program.